CLEVELAND, Ohio — Creators of a new art exhibit in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood are hoping it's a driving force to build more unity.
Malaz Elgemiabby is charged with designing a new welcome center for Ohio City as part of Irish Town Bend.
“I love working in places on the verge of change,” she explains.
“Coming to this community that is a great community, I have been so grateful throughout this process I actually ended up moving here.”
Elgemiabby is from Sudan in Africa.
She and two others took photos of 250 people who live or work in Ohio City. It’s Cleveland’s first display that’s part of a global movement.
Volunteers are working to paste the portraits on the Riverview Welcome Center on West 25th Street, which for 15 years was used as a storage facility.
“We wanted them to reclaim this building as their community space and it can’t get any better by literally stamping your face on it,” says Elgemiabby.
An open house will be held Saturday August 24th from 5pm-7pm. The portraits will only stay up temporarily, depending on the weather.
Inside, an exhibit will run through October 31st highlighting videos of what people in Ohio City say dignity means to them.
“My hope is actually that the conversation goes beyond these walls and this is just the first step,” she says.